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Like a roller coaster

« Life is a roller coaster », Alex Schachter. I have already been living in Slovakia for more than 9
months. And it has been exactly like being on a roller coaster, from the very beginning and I hope
until the very end. These past months have been full of ups and downs. But I am in the upper part as
I write.

Seeing what is happening around the world and also in Slovakia is making me sad and angry though.
It feels like the world is slowly regressing. Indeed abortion right should be an acquired right for every
person in the world. And I think it is very sad that some countries are going backwards. Also climate
change is at our doors, and there are these « Don’t look up » moments, where for example some
people try to understate the effects of our actions on climate and even denying them. But enough
about the negative bits.

Now I am « in the easier part » of my volunteering. The first three months were more about adapting
to a new environment, a new city, a new job, new tasks, new people, a new language, a new culture,
a new life basically, not so different from my previous one and so different at the same time.
Everything is different around you, but you are still this person, the result of your previous lifes. For
me this phase was more about four to five months I would say. Due to a few twists and turns, it took
longer. Thankfully I have my own safety bar that helps me every time. My friends, my girlfriend, my
very own family, my coworkers, people I met here, people from my previous lifes.

After comes the phase where one feels more at ease, one is « used to » their new life. Mine started
just a few months ago. And I am now purely enjoying it! My work and tasks are very fulfilling. I am
fully at ease with my colleagues, enjoying my work, speaking Slovak to some extend and
understanding a lot, enough to know what is happening around me (most of the times haha). I have
time to travel, go to museums, go on hikes, discover caves... Everything is open, no restrictions for
now. Summer is here! A very sunny one!

This phase is partly why I started this adventure. But to get there, I had to push myself, get myself
out of my comfort zone, before, at the beginning and even still now. I have to remind myself to get
out there, try new things. And at times it has been hard to breathe, hard to keep moving, hard to get
through some events. But I am always learning something in the process.

I am very happy that I went on this adventure. I have learned a lot about myself, about Slovakia,
about social work, about psychology, about relationships and many other things. And I still have
about three months to enjoy and learn more until my next adventure.

Text a foto: Frédérique Fairier

Frédérique je dobrovoľníčka programu Európsky zbor solidarity na projekte v organizácii Mládež ulice. Projekt bol podporený z projektu EÚ Európsky zbor solidarity.

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